I'm on the hook for a game of Warhammer Fantasy on Monday (oh damn!) so I thought this weekend I'd try something I've been thinqing about.
I have a unit of Outriders - first I got the Outriders box (Pistoliers) and then my friend Brian kindly provided me with a couple metal pistoliers, one of whom became my champion, the other started sporting a repeater handgun.
So that makes 7. But that's not a unit of Outriders. Permit me to explain: outriders are very shooty troops. They are useful to me (since I take barding) for fast-moving into an area I want to clog up, then sitting there taking a bit of fire and dispensing LOTS. They are kinda like dragoons.
To Panic, 1/4 of your unit must get destroyed. We don't want that. So we can't deal with only having to lose 2 dudes to cause panic. Therefore I want to add 5 to get 11, and run them as guard for my fire-horse-wizard (who CAN, effectively, move and shoot!). So they will be able to withstand much more fire without running afoul of their less-than-amazing Leadership, and the worst thing that could happen is that they become a fire magnet, sparing something else in my line. Or that they get charged by nasties, but an outside chance of the Flaming Sword spell, combined with crazy pistols from the outrider champion, combined with horsies (which, any experienced Fantasy player knows, usually do more damage than what they're carrying) makes them not total close-combat soap bubbles.
Unit preview. (in phong hahahaha)
I set up the horsies (here's a shocker) to all be unique. I am using a couple of the outrider heads again that I like, and adding two cool already-painted heads I snapped off a couple gents I don't use.
Oh! Which as a matter of fact brings me back around to my ridiculous title. My Fluffy Challenge component is to consist of making up a name and a brief but compelling story snippet on each guy or batch of guys as I get them semi-presentable.
At left, above: are the horsies thus far. In my ever-escalating quest for subtle variation, I have even primed the bases different colours, which will be covered with a coat of goblin green. I do intend to properly base all of these guys sometime, I am hoping to seal a modest daemonic pact with ricalope to obtain his assistance. Armies of men = lots of models.
Here are the roughed-in guys. So, without delay, clockwise starting with the guy riding the Blackie (I am doing this "live" or it'll be way too easy), we have Howland, Eagelson, Whitman, Bharkus and Cheed.
Howland was in line to be an Imperial Knight, but his resistance to accepting commands (and his far superior marksmanship to combat prowess) landed him in the pistoliers. He was unhappy there, finding the small-calibre weapons and hit-and-run tactics unsatisfying. So he strove to become Sergeant for the honour of carrying a repeater handgun. Now, eight years and two campaigns later, he is getting hoary and stern, and has become an Outrider.
Eagelson was born in the North-West of the Empire, out of a family preoccupied with lineage and honour. A twinned sense of family expectation and the yearning for self-realization compelled him to enlist. He is quiet and considered, implacable in combat, and is known for challenging himself to the limit and for his strength of character.
Whitman is still a nervous soul, even after years of working with the repeater handgun. But give him a target and a couple commands and he will obliterate it. Muscles borne out of generations of farmers steady his weapon in their defense.
Bharkus escaped the politics and squalor of helot life in a mid-sized Brettonian manor, and, having nothing to lose, brashly lied his way across the border and into the Imperial footsoldiery. Showing no great skill save for remembering and following orders, he escaped hanging as a horse thief by volunteering for frontline duty as a pistolier. Now he is a seasoned and steady veteran, and has shelved his gift of gab against the possibility of his luck running out.
Cheed's long trailing moustaches belie his mixed heritage. Arriving in the Empire as a taciturn and determined little boy in a caravan train, Cheed learned quickly of the grisly reality of duty underlying the Emperor's dream of peace. He sought the unity of horse, rifle and autonomy only permanently available in the Outriders.